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The rise and fall of Ahok: In search of Chinese-Indonesians' identity

Harry Bhaskara

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Melbourne, Australia  /  Sun, November 24, 2019  /  05:01 pm
The rise and fall of Ahok: In search of Chinese-Indonesians' identity

On identity: Education and Culture Ministry culture director general Hilmar Farid delivers his keynote address at the conference on identity and history of Chinese-Indonesians at Clayton campus, Monash University, Melbourne. (Courtesy of Monash Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre/-)

Changes in the electoral system following the fall of the New Order government in 1998 have made it possible for Chinese-Indonesians to compete in local elections. The fundamental question is: Who are these candidates actually representing? Do they defend the Chinese-Indonesian community or their own interests? This question was posed by the Education and Culture Ministry’s culture director general, Hilmar Farid, at a recent conference in Melbourne, Australia, on the identity and history of Chinese-Indonesians. “The Chinese community is an imposed identity [whose members may] have different political aspirations,” he said in his keynote address in front of scholars from seven countries at Clayton Campus, Monash University. It is not easy, Hilmar said, to define who Chinese-Indonesians actually are. “I would say I am one-sixteenth Chinese,” he ...